Hannah Diop – WG’ 09
Owned by Hannah Diop and Issa Rae, Sienna Naturals is a foundational health regimen for textured hair that treats hair-care like skin care. The brand's highly effective and luxurious Wash Day Rituals restore hair's health through lightweight, natural ingredients, proven by science. Unlike styling products that “control” textured hair, Sienna Naturals avoids synthetics, chemicals, and heavy oils. Think clean skincare regimen for textured hair.
Why did you decide to pursue this venture?
I always say that Sienna Naturals has been inside of me since childhood, and was brought to fruition to fill a void I continuously saw in the textured hair care space. My mother was very careful about what we put in and on our bodies and this extended to our personal care and beauty routines. I have so many memories of shopping in the natural food stores with my mom and seeing that there wasn’t a clean offering that actually worked for my hair type sitting on the shelf. With Sienna Naturals, I set out to prove that clean products can be formulated to actually work for kinky, coily and curly hair types and that they can improve the health of our hair and scalp over time by using plant-based ingredients to repair damage, increase moisture, and strengthen textured hair. That’s why I think of the company as a wellness brand. I want my customer to fall in love with their hair and find a new level of freedom of expression through the improved condition of their hair and scalp.
What has the journey been like?
The journey has of course been challenging at times, but extremely rewarding. I spent the first few years of the brand really focusing on perfecting the formulations with my chemist, which set us up with a great foundation. Now, I am getting serious about fundraising and bringing in team members to help support the growth of the company. Programs like Target Takeoff have personally aided me immensely on my journey, as well as constantly being in communication with other entrepreneurs - having people who get start-up life has been critical to have in my network. Over the last year specifically, my focus has been on recruiting people who see the vision of the brand and who can contribute to it exponentially.
How can alumni support your venture?
Word of mouth is key and extremely helpful. Share our story, engage us on socials, buy it for your friends and family. We all know three people, show them Sienna Naturals and encourage them to share as well.